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Press Release

Tennessee Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Assault on Police Officer During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
An Officer’s Struggle with Defendant Over a Shield Was ‘Aggressive and Persistent.’

            WASHINGTON – A Tennessee man pleaded guilty yesterday to a felony charge for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.

            Devin McNulty, 28, of Loudon, Tenn., pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to one count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 28, 2024.

            According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, McNulty was first seen among the crowd at the west front of the Capitol building. From there, McNulty scaled the retaining wall to reach the Upper West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol. In surveillance footage, McNulty, with his distinctive long curly hair, can be seen walking from the west side of the U.S. Capitol to the north side at 2:52 p.m. McNulty then followed the terrace around to the north door of U.S. Capitol, where a large group of rioters gathered and attempted to breach into the building.

            As McNulty approached the north door, he appeared to be affected by a chemical irritant, causing him to turn back to the crowd. Later, video footage shows an alarm coming from the Capitol building as well as loud music in the crowd. Eventually, some law enforcement officers moved between the rioters and the north door. One officer told the rioters, “Get back, everyone get back.” The rioters demanded that the officer let them into the Capitol building. The same officer responded, “I can’t do that.” McNulty was visible to the right of the officer.

            Later, additional law enforcement officers arrived to clear the terrace of the rioters. McNulty stood in front of the line of officers and violently pushed against one officer’s riot shield multiple times over the course of several seconds. The officer, a member of the Prince George’s County Police Department, was interviewed about the incident after January 6. The officer claimed to distinctly remember the interaction with McNulty as aggressive and persistent. The officer explained that McNulty tried to gain control of their shields and that the officers had to exert increasingly more effort to counter McNulty’s force.

            McNulty was arrested in Atlanta on June 13, 2023.

            This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

            This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Knoxville and Washington Field Offices, which identified McNulty as #485 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

            In the 36 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,265 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 440 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.

            Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit

Updated February 2, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-88